A Letter to Myself

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In my darkest hour, when there seemed to be no hope, I felt broken and lost. I woke up in a place which knew only pain and suffering as if the life had been sucked out of it. I couldn’t comprehend how my life had come to this or how I would escape the void of despair which surrounded me. Did I make one huge mistake to get here or was it a series of bad decisions that led me to this place?

Battling addiction was the hardest thing I have had to overcome in my life and it literally destroyed me, my marriage and my future ministry. As Dianne Guthmuller says, “I thank God that test has turned into a testimony,” but I can promise you the devil set out to destroy me.
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I had to literally hit rock bottom to discover that God was my rock and only through him would I find wholeness and restoration. I have an addictive personality to begin with so when it came to recreational drugs, the deck was stacked against me. It started as such a subtle addiction, one in which I thought I could manage, but ultimately it became one which literally took over my life and drove every decision I made.

If someone could have spoken into my life, this is what I wish they would have said:
Despite your anger, discouragement, denial, or helplessness trust that God causes all things to work together for your good and despite your fear know that God has you in the palm of His hand and He wants the very best for your life. Be strong and courageous. Do not fear the unknown, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you! He will strengthen you and He will help you. Know that you are not alone and no temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. Your God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape and He will equip you to endure it. Never give up and do not lose heart. Though it may feel like your outer self is wasting away, your inner self is being renewed day by day. This affliction is preparing you for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. take_heartIn all things have peace because I have overcome the world and when you put your trust in Me, all things are possible and what the enemy meant for your harm, I will use for your good. What the devil meant to destroy you, I will use to bless you, so look to Me through Whom all blessings flow and I will give you rest. Cast your cares and burdens upon Me and I will give you peace. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything give thanks as you receive My peace, which surpasses all understanding. Lastly, know “You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are.”–Max Lucado

Battling Forces

Having true peace and absolute faith means in the midst of a storm when the world and life are dragging you down beneath the water and you have to fight for every breath, you choose to fix your eyes on Jesus. underwater
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)2 Corinthians 4 vs_18

I have found the harder I try to have control over things in life, the less I am actually in control and the less peace I have.

Instead, the more I submit areas of my life to God and the more I look to Him for answers, the more peace I feel because I know He is in control.

The more we trust God and believe He has overcome the world, the easier it is to face problems that are sure to arise.heb 12_2

Peace and fear are constant battling forces because challenges and trials in our life have been allowed by God.
Hope is the Wild Ride Between Peace and Fear
As we walk through them, He becomes the perfector of our faith and how we walk through them will determine the outcome and how much glory and honor the Lord will receive. God uses everything we walk through to shape us into His image, so we must always be looking for areas God may be presenting as an opportunity to grow and be more like Him. Even in our brokenness, God may be accomplishing something beautiful in His eternal plan.

In the not so distant past, I walked through a season that was very humbling, but necessary. It was in this season that my compassion and love for others was birthed and as painful as it was, it was essential for me to fulfill my destiny.

If God leads us to something, He will equip us and lead us through it.keep-calm-and-fix-your-eyes-on-jesus

It’s only when we allow our problems to overshadow God’s omnipotent power that we are deceiving ourselves because nothing is too difficult for God. Instead, we should allow His almighty presence to cover us in everything we do and be with us everywhere we go.take_heart

We should praise Him in the good times and trust Him in the bad. Trusting and believing in God’s plan is easy when things are going great and we should be praising Him in these times, but I challenge you in the times when you can’t understand why things are happening, you begin to look for ways to grow and be shaped into His image.Faith is the Key

Our eyes should stay fixed on Him, our hope should always come from Him, and our faith must always be in His plan!